CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) A new bill has been introduced in an effort to help the tourism and hospitality industries that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Jimmy Panetta was one of the Congress members to introduce the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act, which he said will help to revitalize the industries and provide relief for their workers.
Some of what the legislation would do includes:
- Establish a tax credit for the cost of attending or hosting a convention, business meeting or trade show between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2023.
- Improve the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
- Repeal changes made by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to restore the Entertainment Business Expense Deduction.
- Establish a tax cred it for restaurants or food service businesses to cover costs of reopening or increasing service at businesses forced to close or reduce operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including renovation, remediation, testing or labor costs to prevent the spread of the virus. It would be effective between the date of enactment and Dec. 31, 2022.
- Provide a tax credit for qualified travel expenses.
“With the pandemic surging and restrictions by states and local governments continuing, it is the federal government's responsibility to provide some form of economic relief, especially to our local hospitality industry. The Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act would afford those types of businesses the necessary tax credits to help them preserve jobs and recover,” Panetta said. “This type of legislation is vital to protect the 22,000 travel and tourism employees who call the Central Coast home.”
Panetta said no American industry has been more impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than travel and hospitality. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, travel and tourism employment has fallen by 23.9% across the nation this year.
In addition to Panetta, Representatives Steven Horsford (NV-04) and Darin LaHood (IL-18) introduced the bill. Companion legislation was also introduced in the Senate.